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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78061 Find in a Library
Title: Psychological Testing of Incarcerated Hispanics (From Report From the National Hispanic Conference on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, P 61-85, 1981 - See NCJ-78060)
Author(s): M De LaTorre
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 21
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Some problems involved in the psychological testing of incarcerated Hispanics are discussed, including the tests' internal problems, cultural and language issues, the lack of bilingual-bicultural examiners, the absence of confidentiality in the handling of psychological records, and the damaging results of testing techniques.
Abstract: All inmates have in their records an I.Q. score from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, along with a psychological profile derived from a test such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Institutions, through their programs and staff-inmate encounters, will relate to inmates largely on the basis of these test scores. The design and interpretation of these tests, however, are standardized for the personality characteristics, cognitive perceptions, and measurable intellectual abilities of the white middle class population. When measured and interpreted by these standards, Hispanics generally are determined to be inferior intellectually and emotionally. Such general categorizations of incarcerated Hispanics reinforce feelings of inadequacy and underachievement in Hispanics' interactions with the dominant culture. Testing research should be sensitive to the cultural cognitive perceptions and adjustment patterns of those being tested. In the case of Hispanics, this also means being sensitive to their historical plight as an oppressed minority in America. Further, rather than focusing on a subject's deficiency in relation to a standard testing should identify the individual's cognitive and behavioral strengths, which can become the foundation for improved functioning in a person's preferred context. Additional recommendations, one footnote, and a bibliography of nine listings are provided.
Index Term(s): Discrimination; Hispanic Americans; Inmates; Intelligence Quotient (IQ); Personality assessment; Testing and measurement
Note: Microfiche version of the document is under NCJ-78060.
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